Dixie Regional caregivers fighting coronavirus looking for an assist from Southern Utahns who can sew

A resident puts together a mask to protect against the coronavirus in St. George, Utah, on May 7, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah residents who have some sewing ability are getting a chance to help those on the front line of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gail Miller, owner of the Utah Jazz and chairwoman of the Intermountain Healthcare Board of Trustees puts together a medical mask for Intermountain’s ProjectProtect program. | Photo courtesy Intermountain Healthcare, St. George News

Dixie Regional Medical Center is looking for volunteers with sewing ability and sewing machines to create medical masks for the hospital’s caregivers.

The volunteers will be part of a worldwide effort known as ProjectProtect to ensure that frontline caregivers who are treating patients with COVID-19 have the protection they need to be as safe as possible.

“We are excited to receive kits locally so the many wonderful volunteers we have here can help Utah achieve this critical goal,” said Cathy Hohn, volunteer services manager at Dixie Regional Medical Center. “We can use every willing person to help sew.”

Southern Utahns are needed now to help complete this effort by picking up, sewing and returning medical grade masks.

To volunteer, go to www.justserve.org/projectprotect. If one is not able to find the St. George page right away, scroll to the bottom of the page where St. George appears at the end of the “Week 4” options.

“We invite all who are able and willing to sew medical grade masks to join us as we work together to ensure that caregivers battling COVID-19 have the equipment they need to stay safe,” said Dan Liljenquist, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Intermountain Healthcare, who leads this project for the company. “Your personal contributions to this effort will help save lives.”

Southern Utahns have some catching up to do.

Gail Miller, chair of the Intermountain Board of Trusteees and owner of the Utah Jazz, recently made 200 masks. Her family made another 1,800.

A resident puts together a mask to protect against the coronavirus in St. George, Utah, on May 7, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Overall, the goal is to create two million masks statewide.

ProjectProtect is a collaborative effort between Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, Latter-day Saint Charities, and several Utah nonprofits to enlist thousands of sewing volunteers across the state.

The goal of this initiative is to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline caregivers, including more than five million medical-grade masks. This effort in southern Utah will help complete the volume of masks needed.

Volunteers need to have a sewing machine, thread, scissors, and pins. Polypropylene fabric and instructions are provided.

They will be asked to:

  • Follow detailed instructions and use a sewing machine.
  • Make 100 masks. Depending on the level of experience, each mask will take five to 10 minutes to sew.
  • Spend 10 to 15 hours sewing, plus the time it takes to pick up the materials and drop of the finished masks.
  • Register at https://www.justserve.org/projectprotect and receive an email confirmation with instructions.

A printed copy of this confirmation email is necessary to pick up the materials kit at the Dixie Regional Medical Center 400 East Campus.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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